Bengaluru: India coach Anil Kumble today made it clear that Karun Nair’s one triple century cannot outshine the two years of “extremely successful” stint of Ajinkya Rahane and dropping the experienced middle-order batsman from the playing XI is out of question.
Rahane didn’t have a great series against England and was eventually ruled out with a fractured hand, while he managed just 13 and 18 in the opening Test against Australia in Pune, which India lost by 333 runs. In total, he has scored 204 runs in his last five matches.
“There is no question of dropping Rahane. He has scored really well, he has been extremely successful over the last couple of years. In terms of team composition we still haven’t discussed on that. All 16 are available,” Kumble told reporters ahead of the second Test, starting on Saturday.
Kumble though felt it was unfortunate that Nair had been warming the benches. “Yes it’s unfortunate that Karun missed out after scoring the triple hundred. But that’s the way the composition of the team has been. We have always looked to play five bowlers and it’s unfortunate that he came in as a replacement. It is nice to have these kind of choices in the team,” said Kumble.
“People have been successful in a group. That’s the beauty of this group that whoever came in has done really well but there have been times when people were left out because of team composition and combination. But Karun is class act and we have seen his short international chances he has got.”
On whether the team would go with five bowlers in the upcoming Test, Kumble said they would go with the “right combination”. “It all depends on what we believe is the right combination to win a Test match. If we believe that four bowlers are enough or five bowlers are needed, which four or five bowlers all that depends on what we look at. Our aim is to win a game.”
Talking about Chinnaswamy wicket, Kumble said he was expecting it to be a result-oriented track.
“I don’t know much about the Chinnaswamy wicket to be frank. I have grown up playing on this ground but it is generally been a good batting surface. I’m sure it will be a result wicket and that’s exactly what we want in a Test match.
Kumble said pitch conditions never bothered him during his playing days. “In my playing days I never looked at the pitch. People wrote a lot about my bowling with regard to pitch but as a bowler or captain or coach I never bothered to look at the pitch. Yes we go there look at the pitch and come up with what you need to do and decide what kind of strategies you need to put with regard to what you read looking at the pitch,” he said.